Cringely’s 2008 predictions: Ballmer out, Apple replaces the mouse, licenses Mac OS X, more

Apple Store OnlinePBS’s Robert X. Cringely has made his 2008 predictions. Here are a few:

• Microsoft will indefinitely extend the life of Windows XP, acknowledging the failure of Windows Vista, which will require another generation of hardware (and another $5 billion in R&D) to finally look good three years from now.

• Not only will Bill Gates be retiring from Microsoft in 2008, CEO Steve Ballmer will, too. No word yet on his successor.

• As part of its transition from a PC company to a consumer electronics and content company, Apple will introduce — and trumpet in a huge media show — its replacement for the mouse. Really.

Apple will introduce a subnotebook/tablet computer/media player.

• Along the same lines look for OS X to bifurcate clearly into two lines — Mac OS X and plain OS X (for devices like the iPhone) with Apple licensing (non-Mac) OS X to a few companies, including Sony.

• Here’s one that will totally blow your mind: Apple will build into some Macs support for the Windows API, allowing Mac and Windows apps to run side by side with no need for virtualization software except to run Linux.

Cringely looks at his 2007 predictions’ successes and failures and gives many more 2008 predictions, including one that may be the source of the recent “Apple will drop Akamai for Google” rumor, here.

64 Comments

  1. “• As part of its transition from a PC company to a consumer electronics and content company, Apple will introduce — and trumpet in a huge media show — its replacement for the mouse. Really.”

    They already did at MWSF last year. They call them fingers.

  2. The no-mouse idea could be true if Apple releases a keyboard based on touch technology.

    Solid surface, no keys, and user customizable via a keyboard system preferences panel.

    The keyboard supports what ever language your system is setup for… no need for a separate language keyboard.

    Don’t need a numeric keypad? A select area of the keyboard can be used as either a numeric keypad or a touch pad (goodbye mouse) and you can switch between the two with a touch on a programmed hotspot.

    Oh yeah, I’d buy one.

  3. CrossOver does a pretty good. So, to say, Wingdong XD running on a MAC without virtualization; I don’t find that mind blowing.

    Yet, I love the notion of “Bummer” leaving MacroSloth. Now that would be very wise of them.

  4. Apple loves SONY… well Jobs does. If not, maybe he just wants to keep his enemies close-by?

    Still, to partner this way could be good… EVEN if I can’t imagine this occurring in my wildest dreams.

    Oh my life as a visionary is over.

  5. I just don’t get all the negative predictions for Microsoft, I mean, Apple just figured out the two-button mouse after copying it from Microsoft. Now this Cringely moron thinks Apple can come up with a revolutionary new device? Where in Apple’s past have they done anything game-changing or interesting? Dork.

    And don’t ever put ‘Ballmer’ and ‘retire’ in the same sentence. It makes me and legions of Windows enthusiasts uncomfortable. Microsoft is nothing without Steve Ballmer.

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